Your business premises are at risk of flooding from two sources – the environment and leaks.

When looking at flood prevention for your business, you therefore need to think about external factors as well as maintenance and infrastructure issues.

Even a minor flood will have a big impact on your business. You could lose stock and hardware, and there may be structural damage that needs repairing which could close your business while the work is carried out. This will cost you money directly, but also indirectly in terms of loss of custom as well as loss of confidence in your brand.

Environmental dangers

According to the Climate Coalition: “The UK is seeing an increased chance of wetter winters and more frequent and intense weather extremes, due to climate change. In two recent studies, researchers found the likelihood of extreme rainfall happening in the UK had increased by approximately 40% because of climate change.”

With the increased risk of flooding from rivers bursting their banks, or rising groundwater, your business must take steps to minimise any impact. Undertake a flood assessment which will show you how to implement preventative measures, train your staff so everyone understands what to do in the event of a flood or an imminent flood, and also have a robust business continuity plan in place so you can get your company up and running again as soon as possible.

Flooded road

Practical measures of flood prevention

Protecting your business from the effects of flooding means making it as resilient as possible against the worst effects. You can install removable barriers that seal doors and windows, as well as air bricks, toilets and drains. You can also install non-return valves on drains and pipes so flood water can only flow away from your building.

Other protective measures include raising electrical sockets and control circuits and panels so they’re above the likely waterline. Using flood-resistant materials as part of your building’s construction is also a good measure to take in order to reduce repair costs after a flood has occurred.

Practical measures to prevent leaks

Leaks in any of the water pipes on your company premises will cost you money in terms of the water you’ve lost as a result – even an unchecked small leak could end up costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds over time. The longer the leak goes undetected, the more damage it could do, and you may well come into work one day to discover your premises have been flooded.

So, the more preventative measures you take now, the more time and money you’ll save in terms of repairs and loss of business, stock, equipment etc. The best form of leak detection is to install a smart meter for your water. That way, you’ll understand what your company’s ‘normal’ use levels are. By checking the meter reading on a regular basis, you’ll soon see if a leak occurs, because the reading will be greater than you’re expecting. This enables you to do something about it sooner rather than later, and prevent it from becoming a major problem.

Don’t forget to check your insurance

Preventative measures and business continuity plans will clearly help your business, but in case the worst happens, make sure your organisation is fully covered by insurance… and make sure you read the small print. Business owners have been caught out in the past, which results in breaks in business continuity and the probability of losing their business altogether.